Recruiting, Selecting, and Retaining Direct Service Workers to Provide Self-Directed HCBS

What Does Your New DSW Need to Know?

1. Listen

Loading audio

2. Read

Before your new DSW starts, think about the things they need to know in their first few days on the job. 

Make a checklist of things your new DSW needs to know. On this page are a few suggestions for things you may want to have on your orientation checklist. For even more information, download the orientation checklist.

Note regarding the orientation checklist: The worksheet uses Adobe Acrobat Reader. Download Adobe Acrobat Reader if you do not already have it. If you are using Adobe Acrobat Reader, you will need to print out your worksheet when you are done with it. You won’t be able to save it. If you have Adobe Acrobat, you will be able to save your work. 

Some things to consider in orienting your DSW to the workplace: 

  • The layout of your home and rooms including the location of the bathroom, phone, and where they can store their coat and bag
  • Location of equipment (for example, durable medical equipment, cleaning, and cooking equipment), towels and linens, medications, first aid items, and other supplies they need to do their job
  • Basic safety information such as fire evacuation plans, the nearest hospital, name and contact information for primary care and other relevant doctors, emergency contacts, and other health and safety providers (for example, local emergency medical technicians, ambulance service)
  • Schedule of your household and personal routine
  • DSW’s work schedule for the first pay period (this may need to be updated for future pay periods, depending on the scheduling needs of both you and the DSW)
  • Timesheet, instructions, due dates, and payday schedule
  • Introductions to your other DSWs (if you have more than one DSW and if it is possible)
  • Location of important places in the community if part of their job will be to assist with transportation
  • House rules and expectations. (For example, when and where can they eat? Can they store their lunch in your refrigerator? Is it okay for them to make coffee? Is it okay or not to smoke? Can they use their cell phone? Can they bring other people to the house when they are working?)
  • Policies or other information that they must know to meet federal and state regulations for employment and being an employee (such as Department of Labor or Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) notices)